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Guest Post with Samantha Durante!!!

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

A Profile of Evil: the Engineers by Samantha Durante, author of the Stitch Trilogy

As readers learned in Shudder (or got a glimpse of in the sneak peek at the back of Stitch), the true villains in the Stitch Trilogy are not the Ruling Class (the elite high society governing over the citizens of Paragon), but a small group of crafty baddies (also known as the Engineers) who masterminded the entire colony and put the Ruling Class in power. Following is a quick cheat sheet with a profile of each of the individuals within the Engineers:

The Developer

Role: Architect behind the entire Paragon scheme and de facto leader of the Engineers

Skills/Experience: Talented software programmer/hacker, world’s youngest billionaire after launching an online social media outlet that eventually grew to include almost every individual on the planet

Appearance: Your classic computer nerd – lanky, greasy hair, glasses, t-shirt, whiny voice

Defining Traits: Intelligent, arrogant, impatient, brusque

Classic Quote: “Zombie apocalypse. The people eat that garbage up.”

The General

Role: Leads Paragon’s military and prison, delegates labor assignments to citizens, also organized a secret ring of forced concubines

Skills/Experience: Previously the head of the government’s mandatory civil service program, had access to classified military intelligence including stolen research on the “stitch” technology

Appearance: Shorter in stature, handsome except for cold dark eyes and rasping voice, scar across lips

Defining Traits: Cruel, brash, misogynistic, defensive

Classic Quote: “I say we make an example of her, send a message to the rebels that we won’t tolerate their insubordination any longer. Stupid bitch.”

The Doctor

Role: Oversees Paragon’s medical center, including administering the “stitch” and researching the viral outbreak

Skills/Experience: A leading world geneticist who mapped the human genome and studied the role of trait inheritance in species survival

Appearance: Silver-haired, tall, trim, often seen in a long white lab coat

Defining Traits: Severe, logical, calculating, dry

Classic Quote: “The memory alteration research mentioned some, well, unfortunate side effects…”

The Economist

Role: Guides the Ruling Class in their deliberations to determine Paragon’s future structure and laws

Skills/Experience: Built a quiet legacy in academia studying socialist economics and espousing the merits of a communist government

Appearance: Middle-aged, boyish face, side-parted hair, slight stutter

Defining Traits: Nervous, idealistic, fervent, warm

Classic Quote: “Just imagine it – no hunger, no poverty, no war. Ever. Never again. We’ve learned from the m-mistakes of those who came before us, and we are building upon the foundation they laid to create something more.”

The Draftsman

Role: Manages daily operations of the colony, including logistics for food, shelter, power, maintenance, sanitation, infrastructure, etc.

Skills/Experience: An experienced engineer with expertise across the fields of mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering

Appearance: Older, plump, thick gray beard/whiskers, glasses, soft-spoken

Defining Traits: Paternal, practical, craven

Classic Quote: “But the plans were already in motion, whether I got on board or not. Perhaps I’m a coward, but I quickly realized that I was better off with them than against them. You think on that now.”

Want to know more? Get to know the Engineers in Shudder, Book 2 of the Stitch Trilogy!

If you haven’t read Stitch yet, you definitely should!!! You can see my review of that amazing book HERE.

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Shudder by Samantha Durante (Stitch Trilogy #2)

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Shudder

— Book 2 in the Stitch Trilogy —

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.–Goodreads

Wow, this book just blew my mind. I just finished reading it and the last page of the book was amazing and horrible all at the same time. There were moments throughout the book that I kinda wanted to smack Alessa upside the head and tell her she was wasting a perfectly amazing relationship with Isaac by what if’ing everything. But lets start from the beginning.

This book is done in multiple people’s POV, I loved that. You got to see behind the Engineers thought processes, through Regina’s, Nikhail’s, Phoenix, and of course Isaac and Alessa. The book started immediately up too, so there was no large time gap. Which I really appreciate and like in a book. This time around though Alessa and Isaac are out of Paragon and are looking for shelter for the Rebels per orders from Regina. Everyone else is just trying to stay hidden in Paragon or surviving in Paragon.

While searching, Alessa and Isaac are being tracked by what you don’t find out until the very end of this book. I will definitely not be telling you what they are though so you should read the book and take a guess until you get to the answer from the book. They manage to eventually find shelter and head back to Paragon.

A lot happens to them  as a couple and as individuals.  I am glad that Alessa was able to get over what had been bothering her the whole time and that she finally goes all in with Isaac. I love that Isaac knows that something is wrong with her but instead of freaking out on her, he waits till she gives him the answers to what is wrong. Their relationship is amazing and strong, I hope it stays that way.

I don’t want to give too much away because the book is definitely a buy even though I received it as an ARC from Samantha. I recommend everyone to read this book and the first in the trilogy Stitch.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Undertow by Elle Chardou Promo!

Published March 12, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Undertow_Novel Cover

Title: Undertow

Author: Elle Chardou

Release date: February 3, 2013

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age Group: New Adult

Event organized by:AToMR Tours

Book Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undertow-ebook/dp/B00BAK60M6/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/undertow-elle-chardou/1114295805?ean=2940016364445

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/281963

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-undertow-1052595-148.html

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Undertow/book-a-ZHdEUZXkKmVSEEVj_Wxg/page1.html?s=SEC2K2L2PEqIe-dPQCO2mA&r=7

Createspace (Paperback): https://www.createspace.com/4161811

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Book Description:

Secrets…

Evie Sandstrom has always had secrets. She has grown up with them and now they are coming back and chipping away at her confident facade. Always one for an adventure, she decides to leave after college break and spend the summer in Boston.

The Irish Gangster…

Finn Reilly is not only a bad-boy drug dealer but he is also Evie’s first love. When they meet again in Boston, sparks begin to fly and although they share one huge secret that should have destroyed them forever, it unites them at a time when she needs all the help she can get.

The French Model…

Evie’s mother, superstar actress Athena Donahue, has remarried to Etienne Fournier, a model who is eighteen years her mother’s junior and wants to get to know Evie in more ways than one.

Once Athena drags her daughter back to L.A. under dubious circumstances, she is within the sights of Etienne yet out of the sights of Finn. Can they resolve their differences and will true love prevail or will life get in the way and spoil their chances of happiness?

Excerpt #3

“It’s a simple drop, babe. We aren’t going to rob a bank,” he replied in his mixture of an Irish and Bostonian accent.

“Then you don’t mind if I go?” I inquired as I stared into his crystal blue eyes.

“Absolutely fucking not. We aren’t dealin’ with the Irish tonight—we got some Haitians to hook up and I don’t trust ‘em as far as I can throw them. You stay here with Lita.”

I shook my head slowly. “Finn, if you want me, if I am gonna be your girl then I have to know everything that is going on and that means going out on drops with you two. I’m not some vestal virgin so don’t treat me like one.”

He set his mug down on the kitchen counter and grabbed me by the arms. “Babe, this is no joke. I don’t want anything to happen to you and if they hurt one hair on your head, I’d fucking kill ‘em all and gladly serve the time at Cedar Junction.”

“I’m not staying here with that Oxyball head. I’m going whether you want me to or not,” I said out loud with fierce determination.

“That’s my girl.” Finn wrapped his arms around my waist. “Are you sure you’re okay? Is there anything you wanna talk about?”

I didn’t know whether we should talk about it so soon. I wasn’t even sure I had accepted the situation and it was best to just forget about the whole situation but something nagged at my gut and wouldn’t allow me to let go.

“If we are going to talk, I’d rather we do it in private,” I whispered to him.

He nodded his head and we walked outside to the backyard where there was a neatly trimmed lawn with two comfortable, cloth sun loungers. He sat down on one before he pulled me into his lap. Once he laid out, I got more comfortable and put my head on his chest.

“What happened when you went to visit your grandparents’?” he inquired, his voice deep yet soothing.

“I ran into Patrick and Clara. They had Kieran with them and nearly had a shit fit because I had shown up. Then, if my visit couldn’t get any crappier, Fiona and Chloe pay a visit after all night clubbin’ and I find out about this new business partner of yours…Brandon…isn’t that his name?”

“Yeah and he’s totally cool people. Dylan is a bit weary of him but he’s completely professional. He’s on the straight and narrow—doesn’t drink, smoke or do any kind of drugs. His mother was a big time strawberry back in Ireland…that’s how she got him. She ran away to London for a while and got caught up with a big time pimp. He had her on the streets hookin’ and he was usin’ her as well. It’s lucky Brandon is okay outside of a few anger issues he can suffer from. She used drugs and drank like a fish the whole time she was pregnant with him,” Finn explained.

“I guess that explains the mark on Fiona’s arm. She said Brandon did it.”

“Brandon didn’t hit Fiona. He loves that bitch though I don’t know why…well, actually I do. She could be a dead-ringer for his mum if she had taken care of herself and hadn’t allowed her life to get out of her control. Fiona has an issue of being faithful and chances are she fucked some random guy at a club and he roughed her up a bit. The only thing she is good at is having them wear condoms. Last thing she wants to do is bring something home to Brandon.”

“I don’t know,” I began, “Patrick and Clara were just so mean. They didn’t want me to spend any extra time with Kieran and they acted totally strange. I think they honestly thought I was going to pick him up and walk out of the house with him but why would I do that? How much sense does that make when I am in college and he’s our secret? You know how much trouble I would get in if any of those tabloids ever found out the truth? Athena Donahue’s daughter knocked up at fifteen and gives birth to a secret baby?”

“And with someone like me? Basically an Irish gangster who is no better than a drug dealer. Yeah, that is enough to ruin someone’s career. All I know is there was a serious issue that happened with Kieran when he was a baby. This is all passed along the grapevine shit because I wasn’t here but since then, they have been ultra protective of him. They left the state, settled in New Haven, and make it their business to visit this place as little as possible. Basically, they come enough to keep up appearances and that is it.”

I sat up and stared into his gorgeous crystal blue eyes. “Is this what Dylan told you?”

“Yes, and no. Fiona told me a bit and so did Chloe because she was around at the time. I seriously don’t think they see you as a threat. At least they shouldn’t because of who you are and who would you say the child belonged to? Plus, just like you indicated, you’re in college so what the hell are you going to do with a four-year-old kid?”

I wanted to get off this topic as soon as possible. “About this drop tonight, tell me how a typical one goes and what I should expect? Will you and Dylan allow me to take a weapon?”

SIGN UP FOR a Rafflecopter giveaway OF ATONEMENT BY ELLE CHARDOU!

Atonement_Novel_Cover

The first installment of The Atonement Series.

Deirdre Bardot is a PhD student at Harvard and on her way home for Thanksgiving when she finds out her father has been murdered in a vicious hit and run by a drunk driver.

Forced to piece her life together after such a traumatic event, Deirdre moves back to Seattle to be closer to her younger sister, Caitlyn, and their mother.

When her psychiatrist, Dr. van der Meer, suggests she needs to get away from it all and take a vacation, her best friend decides to introduce her to a friend of his who has more or less the same idea. Colin is perfect: he’s good looking, self-deprecating and sexy as hell but he also happens to be the Dr. van der Meer’s son.

Deirdre finds herself falling hard for a guy she barely knows and one who is equally into her as she is into him. They decide a trip to Western Europe together is the perfect way to get to know one another a whole lot better.

Then an unspeakable and random act of violence occurs one night and Colin realizes he is forced to reveal a secret to Deirdre he has been hiding…a secret that is breaking him, and in doing so to free his conscience, he just might destroy the relationship he has created with Deirdre and lose her forever.

Publisher’s Note: Due to mature adult themes, sexually explicit scenes and adult language, this novel is not suitable for minors under the age of 18.

About the Author

Elle Chardou Photo4

Elle Chardou is a world traveler and author of several different series.

Ms. Chardou is the author of The Ties That Bind Trilogy, The Atonement Series, The Hart Family Saga, The Vamp Saga, The Supernaturals, Beginnings: Book I (The Plague) series.

She is currently working on Only Love (The Atonement Series), Queen of the Immortals, Book Three in The Vamp Saga.

Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Author social media links:

Blog:The Beautiful People: A Writer’s Journey located http://thebeautifulpeopleawritersjourney.blogspot.com.

Follow Elle Chardou on Twitter:http://twitter.com/#!/dblanchbenz007

Like Elle Chardou on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Elle.Chardou

AToMR Tours

Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout (Lux #3)

Published March 2, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Opal

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

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Ah I had to read this book twice and the last 15 pages like 4 times. Why? Because it was heartbreaking. I loved Daemon in Obsidian and Onyx but there was just something about the way he was with Katy and how he treated her. I know a lot of people were like “Just say it back to her!” But I felt he did more than enough to show how much he cared about her. You know what they say ‘actions speak louder then words’. Well I believe that. This book picked up exactly where Onyx ended. Which left me with anger issues toward Blake.

Okay I totally wanted to punch him in the face multiple times because lets face it. He had quite a few moments of crazy showing through. Like showing back up at school like he didn’t kill anyone. I won’t say who in case you haven’t read Onyx. Now back to Katy, wow did she have to go through so much in this book. She had to deal with the fallout of what happened with Will, had to deal with another hybrid like her that was close to her but not stable, she had to deal with losing her best friend, Dee because of decisions she made, she had to come to terms with her relationship with Daemon. Honestly I thought she grew up quite a bit in the book and I loved how much stronger as a character she is now and how I know that she will be even better in the next book.

Now the ending, oh god the ending. I think I cried EVERY SINGLE TIME I read it. To get so close to getting what they were trying for and then to get stuck behind like that? And Daemon fighting everyone to get to her? Yea and not to mention what he said to her right before the door closed. For the first time ever. I almost want the next book to be in both their POV’s only to see what happens to each one and how the cope with that knowledge. I don’t want to give to much away because this series is COMPLETELY worth the read, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to get my hands on Origin when the ARC’s come out. This summer can’t come fast enough for me to read that book.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStarStar—Extra star for the amazingness that this book is.

Focus by Alyssa Ivy Rose (The Crescent Chronicles #2)

Published February 19, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Focus

Freshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.

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Now let me tell you so much has happened to poor Allie. But man is she stubborn. I mean really how many times does Levi have to apologize to her about what he did and what happened to her? He was scared to death about what was going to happen to her when she was kidnapped.

This time around though luckily Allie is with Hailey and makes some friends in college. Of course Levi does not allow any guys to go near her and makes a point of having Jared and Owen as her bodyguards. Which was great because you got to see a little more into these two characters. I love the friendship that builds between Allie and Jared, especially since she hasn’t been his biggest fan.

Hailey and Allie go and spend Christmas break with Allie’s mom and Allie’s moms boyfriend. This time Levi doesn’t go with them, even though things have been progressing. It kinda sucked because I wanted her mom to get to know him better and show that he was going to be with Allie no matter what.  I was like “wth” when they got picked up at the airport. I totally thought it was kinda pathetic that he was waiting for her like everything was going to be okay and they would get back together when she blatantly told him multiple times that it wasn’t going to happen.

Not only do we find out that there was someone on the inside that was trying to hurt Allie but we also find out about someone in Allie’s past isn’t who we think he is. I can tell you I was soooooo shocked at the end of this book. It was insane. I am anxious for the next book to come out. Obviously since I have just helped host the cover reveal for the third book. Which I believe is the last and I will be sorry to see go. But I got it in the end. Really I did. I hope you all read this book too. It is definitely worth it.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Existence by Abbi Glines (Existence Trilogy #1)

Published January 22, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Existence

What happens when you’re stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules. goodreads-badge-add-plus-1

I just want to point out first and foremost that I absolutely LOVE Abbi Glines. So much so that I found out that she is coming to the Orlando area in mid February and am pretty upset that I can’t go. I have a wedding the week before and can’t take the time off to go up there with the hubby. Now if the best friend wanted to do a friend date and go up there with me so I am not all alone 2 hours away, I would go and love her to death. But seriously I love every book I have read of hers and I have read them all. Some multiple times. This book hooked me into the trilogy immediately.

It stats with Pagan starting her senior year in high school and it goes through the up’s and down’s with her friends and getting a boyfriend outside of the one that she had for about 3 years before. She meets Dank on the first day while he is sitting at a picnic table and she tries so hard not to stare at him. Of course he is good looking but she thinks he is dead and a regular soul. Which you can’t blame her for that seeing as she has been seeing them since she was a little girl. There was something about Pagan as a character that I loved. And when she started dating Leif I was a little iffy. I really liked Dank and that was why.

I loved how Pagan never knew what Dank was going to do next. Even I had trouble figuring out where the book was going to go. I thought he was a great guy. He knew he was no good for her and tried to stay away from her so that she can continue living her life that was meant for her. I did like the scenes where he would get jealous of her and Leif or when she would get jealous of Dank and Kendra.

Honestly there isn’t much to say about this book that I didn’t love. As soon as I started it, I wanted to know what else was going to happen. It sucked that I had to wait for the second and third book to come out after this one but I was willing to wait since I liked it so much. I really don’t think that Abbi can’t write a great book, I have never been disappointed in her yet!

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Published January 21, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Teenage girl (14-16) lying on bleacher

When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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This was definitely one of those books that I expected more from. The synopsis sounded very interesting and I found that I wanted Parker to learn to live with herself and to be a better person. I was really rooting for her to get her stuff together.

I understand that something horrible happened the year before. It helped with the flashbacks that showed the reader (me) that Parker wasn’t always such a trainwreck and that at one point she did have her life together and a guy that really loved her. I found that I wanted to yell and scream at Parker to deal with her issues instead of hiding in a bottle all the time. I really loved the flashbacks and who they were written out.

I honestly felt bad from Jake even though he did it to himself. I mean who goes around falling for the girl that basically tells you flat out that she is completely messed up and doesn’t want to deal with you or life anymore. I loved how even though he had no idea what happened to Parker he was still willing to try and break down her walls that she put up around herself and everyone else.

I can honestly say that I really had no idea how this ending was going to be because everything I thought was going to happen didn’t happen. So I did like the ending quite a bit, I just couldn’t relate with the characters too much. Okay mainly Parker. I would definitely recommend the book if you want something that deals with drinking and handling the emotional up’s and down’s of being a teenager when something horrible happens in their lives.

RATING:

StarStarStar